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I have in front of me a record, written by Alfred Emmet, which tells me that on 6th September 1960, at 6.45 pm a girl called Monyene Kane, aged 16, came to The Questors and auditioned for the Student Group. It appears that this was the first time she had ever been here and that audition began a lifetime of involvement with the theatre. She was successful: indeed, Alfred's record also tells me that he rated her the most outstandingly talented of all the applicants that year. So she joined Student Group 15, and two years later graduated after playing Cathleen in JM Synge's Riders to the Sea and Tuzza in Pirandello's Liola.

All the other graduates from that student group are long gone - I do not recognise any other names on the list. But Monyene stayed with us for almost the rest of her life. I was only a child at the time, but her name was one I recognised and knew, because she was mentioned in our house frequently. I also knew her by sight. I think she must have been one of Alfred's favourites. She became an acting member and played some parts, but sadly our records do not show what she was in at that time: I would need to comb through every programme in Archives. I have found only one mention of her in my own programmes, but being away at boarding school, I did not see many Questors productions in those days.

I know she moved away for some years, and I recall that she returned to The Questors in the late 1970s: indeed our "Spotlight" records begin in 1979 with her appearance in Geoff Webb's production of The Beggar's Opera. By then I had become a Questors director, and her next appearance was in my production of The Misanthrope in January 1980. That performance began an association that was to last until her last appearance at The Questors, when she played Harper in Far Away in January 2006, which I also directed. Of her 46 listed appearances over those years, I directed her in 11 of them. I think I can confidently say that there is no other Questors actor whom I have worked with so many times.

Monyene was an actress who did not only play leading roles, although she had many of those; she was also very happy to be part of an ensemble (she played various parts in The Caucasian Chalk Circle), to be experimental (she was one of my team of 6 brave ladies in a devised piece, ESP) and to play cameo roles (she was wonderful as Lettice Willis, the Treacle Queen, in Absolute Hell). But I can also never forget her in the substantial roles she played for me, such as Queen Margaret in Princess Ivona, Fiormonda in Love's Sacrifice, and above all Woman B in Three Tall Women, arguably her greatest performance at The Questors.

Her biography contains too many other great appearances to be listed in full; so forgive me if I have so far mentioned only those that I was involved in. But other members may well remember her, as I do, in Albertine in Five Times, The Devil's Disciple, The Chalk Garden, Breaking the Code, Woman in Mind, Hamlet and Blithe Spirit among many others.

Monyene was a very private person who told us little about her life outside The Questors, but I do know she was a very keen walker. I am a regular visitor to the Isle of Portland in Dorset, and have an enduring memory few years back of walking down the 151 steps to the beach one sunny afternoon only to bump into Monyene on her way up. In our brief conversation, I learned that she was "doing" the South West Coast Path - it's 630 miles long!

She left Ealing after she retired. She had spent years living in a first floor flat, and told me that she wanted above all to have a garden, so she moved to Tunbridge Wells for her last few years. I believe she knew even then that she was suffering from the cancer that was to kill her, and I never saw her again. But I do hope she enjoyed her garden.


Monyene Kane at The Questors